The Energy Transition

The Winter 2017 Issues in Science and Technology explores the transition from fossil fuels to a cleaner global energy system. Varun Sivaram addresses the perils of locking in existing clean energy technologies at the expense of innovative alternatives. He offers a plan to transform lock-in barriers into bridges for next-generation energy technologies. Christine Sturm, a former executive in the German utility industry, examines the complexities of Germany’s transformation of its energy sector, the Energiewende, and why the country isn’t on track to meet its ambitious emissions-reduction goals. Combining personal narrative with analysis of solar technology deployment in India, Kartikeya Singh provides an illuminating portrait of how politics, capitalism, and energy poverty are combining in strange ways across India. Finally, Jack Barkenbus finds that electric vehicles can help lower greenhouse gas emissions—depending on where and when they’re recharged.

Editor's Journal

  • Take a Deep Breath

    Anxiety reigns among the overeducated, the hyper-rational, the super-scrupulous. Academics, think-tankers, and journalists are trying earnestly to understand why so many Americans have lost their respect for intellectual rigor. Hell, there seem… Read More



Book Reviews

  • Cover of book titled Ordinary Well

    Listening to Patients

    This book was very difficult to review. In Ordinarily Well: The Case for Antidepressants, Peter Kramer, a psychiatrist and best-selling author, makes two arguments with which I agree. One is that… Read More
  • Innovation and Its Enemies book cover

    Change’s Challengers

    On the one hand, the world is obviously a much better place than it used to be. Don’t take my word for it: the past few years have seen a surge of… Read More
  • Cover of book titled The Two Degrees Dangerous Limit Climate Change

    Anchor Management

    Climate policy makers and political leaders love global targets. By adopting climate stabilization goals to limit temperature increases to a specified amount—usually two degrees Celsius (2°C)—above preindustrial levels, they demonstrate… Read More
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